C O N F I D E N T I A L VILNIUS 000152
EUR/NB AND URE/UMB
E.O. 12958: DECL: 02/14/2014
TAGS: PREL PGOV LH
SUBJECT: LITHUANIA TO REITERATE CALL FOR NATO FLEXIBILITY
AND SUPPORT FOR UKRAINE AT NUC
REF: A. SECRETARY 58
Â¶B. USNATO 107
Classified By: Pol/Econ Officer Trevor Boyd
for reasons 1.4 (b) and (d).
Â¶1. (C) Summary. Lithuania, probably through President Valdas
Adamkus, will utilize the February 22 NATO-Ukraine Council
Summit to reiterate its call for NATO to respond positively
to the new political reality in Ukraine, to elevate the
NATO-Ukraine partnership to a new level, and to urge the
Alliance to provide Ukraine with a clear integration path.
While Ukraine needs to consolidate its embrace of democracy,
NATO, say senior MFA interlocutors, should be flexible and
send clear signals to encourage democratic reform and promote
cooperation with the GOU. Provided that Ukraine's progress
in strengthening its democracy continues, Lithuania would be
willing to discuss the NATO-Ukraine relationship at April's
informal NATO ministerial in Vilnius. End Summary.
Â¶2. (C) We met with Kestutis Jankauskas, Director of MFA's
Security Policy Department, and Vytautas Leskevicius, of
MFA's NATO Division, on February 15 to discuss Lithuania's
agenda ahead of the February 22 NATO-Ukraine Council (NUC)
Summit. Lithuania, said Jankauskas, is seeking a speaking
opportunity for President Valdas Adamkus at the NUC to
reinforce the message conveyed by Foreign Minister Antanas
Valionis at the February 9 NATO Foreign Ministers Working
Lunch (ref A). (On the margins of the inauguration of
Croatian President Mesic, Adamkus is scheduled to meet
Ukrainian President Yushchenko February 18 to discuss
Ukraine's interest in integrating more fully with
Â¶3. (C) Lithuania supports the NATO-Ukraine Action Plan, and
believes it is too early to support a formal Ukrainian bid
for NATO membership (ref B). The GOL believes, however, that
NATO should recognize that Ukraine has entered a new,
qualitatively different phase of political development.
While it falls upon the GOU to consolidate and deepen
democratic reforms, said Jankauskas, NATO should encourage
and buttress GOU efforts by illustrating flexibility and
sending explicit political signals of support as the
Ukrainian democratization efforts advance. NATO, he said,
can help the GOU harness "the spirit of euphoria" in Ukraine
by providing a clear integration path following the NUC.
NATO, said Jankauskas, should look for "serious progress"
through incremental, pragmatic steps towards democratic
targets. Should discernable progress be achieved in the
coming months, Lithuania, he said, would be willing to
discuss Ukraine at the April NATO informal ministerial
meeting in Vilnius.
Â¶4. (C) Comment: In keeping with its self-image as a champion
of democratic elements in the former Soviet Union, Lithuania
will do all within its power to keep Ukraine on the West's
agenda. Lithuania recognizes that Ukraine needs to undertake
immediate steps to consolidate its democracy following the
Orange Revolution. It believes, however, that NATO can
decisively support these efforts. If Ukraine can make
serious progress, even in small increments, Lithuania will
continue to advocate for an acceleration of its neighbor's
integration with trans-Atlantic organizations.